Squash Coming Outta My Ears

Posted by: on Dec 6, 2012 | 7 Comments

Winter is always a little more bleak when it comes to fresh produce, even plants need a little rest. Sadly we lose those delicious tomatoes of high summer. However, winter holds its own gems. And thankfully many of the late season fruits have a long shelf life, which means we can enjoy them for months to come­–apples, squash, potatoes, turnips. With this in mind, I found myself at the last of the regular season farmers’ markets buying as many pie pumpkins and butternut squashes as I could carry home. It helped the farmer was selling them at a low price because he had harvested everything and wasn’t planning on selling anywhere else. He wanted them off his hands and I was envisioning all the beautiful things I could do and all the vitamin A I’d be getting this winter. That was several weeks ago. And now here I am with a whole basket of butternut squash and two pie pumpkins left. Fortunately, I’m still happy to be in this predicament.

This past year, I’ve discovered that eating (mostly) seasonally has led me to be more creative. I can’t pick one squash recipe and eat all ten of my butternut squashes that way. I’d get bored fast and my husband would kick me out of the kitchen. So, I thought I’d share some of the ways I’ve eaten the pie pumpkins and the butternut squashes so far. I also had a couple of acorn squashes from my CSA and a hostess gift when a friend passed through town. The acorn squashes found themselves stuffed with wild rice, dried cranberries, and pecans. I made the pie pumpkins into several different variations of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and smoothies. I plan to make a pumpkin pie with at least one of the remaining pumpkins. I’ve been most creative with the butternut squash. I found a recipe for black bean and butternut squash burritos and my world of Mexican food was forever changed (for the better). Butternut squash is the unsung Mexican food hero. Having really enjoyed the burritos, I found a recipe for enchiladas also using butternut squash and black beans. OMFG delicious. And my latest foray into exciting new butternut squash recipes was this week–a stew with chickpeas. Now I find myself actually full on excited about all the different ways I’ll find to eat the rest of the squash.

The recipes:

Stuffed Acorn Squash: These are great with dried cranberries or cherries. Lately, I’ve really been enjoying the dried cherries.

Pumpkin Smoothie: This has been a great way to mix up our smoothie routine here. We even tried it with raw pumpkin, which is actually pretty good. It tastes slightly different. Have you ever noticed raw has a flavor?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (my favorite recipe so far): These muffins are delicious. If you want to use eggs, feel free to just substitute the flax seed and water for 2 eggs. I’ve made them both ways and honestly they are just as good with or without the eggs. If you want to make them a little more desert like, I recommend spreading a cream cheese frosting on top. And if you are feeling really adventurous, add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the frosting. I made these as “cupcakes” for a friend’s birthday recently. They were a hit.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Burritos: This recipe was my first introduction into butternut squash a la Mexican. I left out the rice and didn’t use vegan cheese or any for that matter (didn’t need it). BUT if I had some of the Beecher’s cheese I mentioned in my last post, I probably would have added a little.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas: I think you can just make whatever guacamole you like and throw it on top. I didn’t notice a huge difference between my guacamole and the avocado cilantro lime sauce. Although, I think the sauce may have been a little more heavy on the lime.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew: I served this over quinoa (a great way to pack in a little protein). I also added a little parsley as garnish. When I ate it for lunch today, I added a little coconut rice we made the other night. The coconut rice was originally served with really good Thai grilled shrimp and a peanut sauce. It went just as well with this stew.

Also, apparently a lot of canned pumpkin pie filling is actually made from butternut squash. So, you can easily use butternut squash for muffins and pies if you don’t have a pie pumpkin on hand.

What are your favorite ways to eat winter squash?

7 Comments

  1. Betsy Rogers
    December 6, 2012

    Hi Hali,
    Butternut squash is my Favorite squash…. No competition! I am an old fashioned just throw in some butter and mash it type! But at Putney they oven roast it with apples and beets and cranberries and sometimes potatoes too! Yummy doesn’t begin to describe it!!!
    By the way (old fashioned of me, I Know!)… your food Photos are Excellent!!! Worthy of the Gourmet magazines!!!
    I Love you!!!!

    Reply
    • Hali
      December 7, 2012

      Betsy, I love roasted squash and I bet it’s delicious with beets, apples, and cranberries. Hmmmm…I think I have all those things.

      Thank you for the kind compliment on my photos. I try really hard to always include some. Most of these are actually taken on my iPhone! Maybe some day I’ll take a photography class.

      Love you too!

      Reply
      • Diane
        December 7, 2012

        Hali, Thanks for all these recipes. I find butternut squash and pumpkin interchangeable in most recipes, and if you need to peel first, butternut is easier! I oven-roast butternut squash wedges, sliced beets and potatoes, (all tossed with a little olive oil and fresh herbs/garlic first)and serve as a side with seasoned yogurt or aioli mayo for dipping. Also, try mashed squash in pancakes for breakfast; or savory pancakes for lunch or dinner with some scallions, herbs, even chopped leftover veggies. I always use fresh-grated nutmeg with any winter squash dish–it does something nice.

        Diane

        Reply
        • Hali
          December 7, 2012

          All these ideas are making me hungry. :)

          Reply
  2. Beth
    December 6, 2012

    And don’t forget that you can substitute a pint of pureed pumpkin for the oil with a box of brownie mix to make a low fat, wonderful treat that actually tastes the same as regular brownies and actually has some nutrition.

    Reply
    • Hali
      December 7, 2012

      Beth, that does sound good! I’ve used applesauce in recipes in place of oil. But I love just about everything pumpkin so I think I would really enjoy pumpkin brownies.

      Reply
  3. Hali
    December 13, 2012

    This week, I added butternut squash to my normal chili recipe! YUMMMMMMM

    Reply

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